J.A. Konrath from A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing offers up an great post on book remainders, the unsold copies that publishers sell at a discount – the ones you find at discount bookstores. One of the downsides he lists as a “remaindered” author is:
Being in the bargain bin has a stigma that isn’t pleasant.
I must admit that way back when, I was one of those who frowned upon bargain books. Who wants a book that couldn’t sell at full price? There must be something wrong with the book! Obviously, these notions are entirely false. The reasons have more to do with the publishing business than the quality of the work.
I’ve since wizened up. In fact, during several biblioholic bouts, I’ve found many good remaindered books. One of the most fortunate finds was a hardback copy of (dare I say “SF Signal fanboy”?) John C. Wright’s The Golden Age. I’ve since gone on to buy and read the rest of that very worthwhile trilogy. As Konrath notes, I might not have found him through other means. (Let alone buying another mass-market copy of the first book and the Science Fiction Book Club omnibus of all three books. Hel-LO? Biblioholic here!)
Upon reflection, my initial stigma against remainders was due to ignorance. I just didn’t understand how it could could be possible that something worth buying could be offered at such a huge discount. That was my loss. But I’m debatably smarter now!